Although I do not consider myself a "privacy nut" I do consider myself a privacy advocate. I want to have control over what content I place online, who sees it, who uses it. I don't think this is too much to ask. The internet has, for good or bad, become a necessity in this age and with this necessity has also come the need to protect information from those who would misuse it.

In keeping with this notion, I do not share photos of people, especially children, online without specific permission and feel it unwise to share a great deal of personal information outside of select groups of people. I do not send medical or financial information unencrypted through email.

On the other hand I do have Facebook and Google+ accounts and share freely ideas and opinions on those social media. There is no contradiction here; just the desire to share only what I am willing to with the audiences I choose.

There is plenty of press about sharing through social media and some occasional warnings of how it can be abused. Whereas it’s easy to get a Facebook account and share to your heart’s content, there is less information about how to keep information private and secure. Doing the latter takes some research, often some technical know-how, and a little extra effort.

By the way, if you're interested in outwitting the NSA or flying below some other form of governmental radar on the internet don't bother reading further. I do not believe it is possible to have that level of privacy when there are such powerful players on the internet.

Rather, my own efforts are primarily directed at protecting myself against wholesale commercial data collection. I may have no choice but to trust my government - but I do have a choice when it comes to trusting corporations. I am also trying to protect myself against phishing, viruses, identity theft, and so on. You know. The nastys out there that you actually can and should do something about.

If you are interested in internet privacy the
Causes I Support and Software I Use pages are by no means a complete list of projects and software that will help you achieve the level of privacy you seek. These are merely the ones that I have found that work on my hardware and allow me a small measure of security with an acceptable degree of effort. The list is however offered as a starting point for your own research if you don’t already know where to begin.

If this all seems like a lot join the club because I feel the same way. It would be much easier to just refrain from saying on the internet anything you don’t want public. Or perhaps to simply ignore all the targeted advertising, the dancing icons, and pretend searches are returning objective results. But if those things get to you as they do me and you still want to use the internet as it was intended, then the effort is worthwhile.

Comments on any items listed and recommendations for other software are welcome through my
Contact Page page; I am always interested in learning how to better my suite of privacy tools.